New RBI di­rec­tive pro­tects vic­tims of on­line fraud

Consumer Voice - - In The News -

Bank cus­tomers who find them­selves at the re­ceiv­ing end of on­line fraud will only be li­able to the ex­tent of Rs 10,000 – the rest of the amount has to come from the bank. The new code says that for any unau­tho­rized In­ter­net bank­ing trans­ac­tions, the cus­tomer’s li­a­bil­ity is lim­ited, ir­re­spec­tive of the funds moved out of the ac­count. An unau­tho­rized trans­ac­tion is one that does not have the ex­press and im­plied ap­proval of the ac­count holder.

Where the cus­tomer has di­vulged the pass­word or col­luded di­rectly or in­di­rectly, the cus­tomer can­not dis­own the debit and is re­spon­si­ble for the trans­ac­tion. Where he has nei­ther con­trib­uted nor caused the debit or where he has no­ti­fied or in­formed the bank about an unau­tho­rized debit, the cus­tomer’s li­a­bil­ity is lim­ited to a max­i­mum of Rs 10,000.

The usual norm puts the onus on cus­tomers to prove their in­no­cence be­fore resti­tu­tion is made by the con­cerned bank.

Fur­ther, the code says that cus­tomers will not be li­able for any loss due to unau­tho­rized fund trans­fers that hap­pen be­fore they re­ceive the pass­word for In­ter­net bank­ing trans­ac­tions. If the cus­tomer says that the unau­tho­rized trans­fer of funds has been on ac­count of a se­cu­rity breach by the bank and this is es­tab­lished, there will be no loss of money. The onus will be on the bank to es­tab­lish that cus­tomers have com­pro­mised the se­crecy of their pass­word.

Salt in red chilli pow­der is adul­ter­ation too

Adul­ter­ation of food even with non-in­ju­ri­ous sub­stance would amount to an of­fence in law as it low­ered the pu­rity of the ar­ti­cle, the Supreme Court de­clared as it sen­tenced a man to jail for three months for mix­ing salt in red chilli pow­der.

A bench of Jus­tice BS Chauhan and Jus­tice AK Sikri de­clined to show any ‘benev­o­lence’ to Del­hibased gro­cer Mithlesh Ku­mar, not­ing that the Delhi high court had al­ready shown le­niency to him by re­duc­ing the sen­tence from one year to three months’ rig­or­ous im­pris­on­ment.

In his plea, 52-year-old Mithlesh con­tended that only salt was found as adul­ter­ant and that such adul­ter­ation was com­mon in such cases as he was a petty shop­keeper who kept things in the open, due to which it would be pos­si­ble for salt spilling into the con­tainer of red chilli pow­der.

The apex court did not agree. Re­call­ing the pro­vi­sions of the Pre­ven­tion of Food Adul­ter­ation Act, the court said, “It is clear that an ar­ti­cle of food may be adul­ter­ated once it does not meet the spec­i­fi­ca­tions and ex­ceeds the limit pre­scribed un­der the law.

The pres­ence of salt, that is sodium chlo­ride, by 2.5 per cent weight as well as pres­ence of to­tal ash ex­ceed­ing the pre­scribed limit is suf­fi­cient to hold that the sam­ple drawn was adul­ter­ated, even if one was to pro­ceed on the ba­sis that mere ad­di­tion of com­mon salt to the chilli pow­der did not ren­der it in­ju­ri­ous to health.”

Officials of Food Safety Au­thor­ity had raided Ku­mar’s shop in March 1993 and found his stock of chilli pow­der adul­ter­ated with salt and ash.

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